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The Brick Industry Worldwide

Globally brick kilns burn 375,000,000 tonnes of coal per year. This makes the industry the third-highest user of coal in India.

The introduction of a fuel-efficient, cost-effective kiln technology that produces high-quality bricks is economically, socially and environmentally critical. HZZK technology provides a kiln that meets the needs of the brick industry in the developing world.

The brick industry in the developing world is a vast, coal burning and polluting industry almost entirely lacking automation. 1,500 billion bricks are produced globally each year, of these 1,300 billion bricks (or 87%) are from Asia.

Rapidly accelerating urbanization at an average rate of 6% p.a, this growth is driving increasing demand for bricks. Solid, fired clay bricks are among the most widely used building materials.

The cost of fuel and its availability is a major concern for brick entrepreneurs.

The labour-intensive exercise of hand moulding clay into bricks (Hand-made bricks), is the predominant way of shaping green bricks in developing countries. In contrast, bricks in the developed world are machine-made, fired in highly automated electricity-dependent tunnel kilns using a skilled labour force. The brick sector in developing countries is generally labour intensive and non-mechanized. The lack of automation is the result of a number of factors, including;

  • Availability of a pool of a mainly itinerant, low-cost workforce.
  • The workforce is mainly drawn from subsistence farmers and this is their only source of cash income.
  • Lack of access to consistent electricity/power supply to run machinery.
  • The extremely high capital cost of establishing mechanized kilns and the resultant extended payback periods for their owners in what is a free enterprise system in most countries


Country Production % No. Billion P.A.
China 66.67% 1,000
India 13.33% **200
Pakistan 3.00% 45
Vietnam 1.67% 25
Bangladesh 1.13% 17
Nepal 0.40% 6
Rest of Asia 0.47% 7
Total Asia 86.67% 1,300
USA 0.53% 8
UK 0.37% 4
Australia 0.13% 2
Rest of World 12.40% 186
Total Rest of World (Incl. Latin America) 13.33% 200

Global Brick Production

100.00% 1,500

Source: Ellen Baum – Session 1, Mexico & India: GKSPL Estiate, Pakistan: Estimate based on CIWCE report Lahore, Bangladesh & China: ESMAP & World Bank Report, Vietnam: Ministry of Construction Vietnam

Figures are based on a very conservative 300,000 brick kilns, today there are 500,000.  India alone has over 180,000 kilns and the industry is still expanding.

** Increased to 250 Billion in 2017

CCAC Mitigating Black Carbon PDFThe Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) recently published a comprehensive and interesting report on the worlds brick industry: ‘Mitigating Black Carbon And Other Pollutants From Brick Production’